Electromagnetic fields from mobile phones: recent developments (376.62 KB, pdf)

Mobile phone use has increased rapidly worldwide since the early 1990s. In June 2009 there were more than 4.3 billion mobile phone connections around the world . Mobile phones emit radio and microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF), and there are many concerns about possible health effects of such EMF exposure.

There has been wide coverage of this issue in the press as well as a large body of scientific research into the issue. Unfortunately, due to the potential long term impacts of EMF exposure on health, there are so far no definitive conclusions as to whether EMF is harmful or not.

To judge any potential impact of EMF on the insurance industry we should look at both the available scientific research and the implications that a conclusive link between EMF and disease could have to applicable policies. 

This report looks first at current views on EMF as stated by international bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the European Union, and then goes on to examine recent scientific research into the field. It finally considers the implications for the insurance industry by scrutinising current legal cases on EMF and any comparisons which can be drawn with asbestos.

 

Date of publication: November 2010